Why The Yankees Need Joba In The Bullpen

Adam GoldfarbCorrespondent IMay 29, 2009

  Bottom of the 7th inning, no one out, 2 men on.  Out comes Joe Girardi to get his starting pitcher, and in comes relief in the form of Jose Veras.  Why Jose Veras?  Because Brian Bruney is on the DL for the 2nd time in a month.  The first pitch is low, ball one.  The second pitch is low, ball two.  The third pitch is outside, ball three.  The fourth pitch is low, ball four.  There's nothing like a four pitch walk to start off the the relief.  The next batter walks to the plate.  Veras throws a fast ball straight down the middle and it's hit straight out of the ball park, grand slam.  The Yankees now trail 4-3.

   How many times have you watched this scenario unfold during the season?  The Yankees bullpen is atrocious. The only one you can trust is Mariano Rivera, and he doesn't seem like himself this year.  Where do you turn?  The trade market is very thin right now, and most likely the only available relievers are those on terrible teams that most likely can't do the job either.  Why do the Yankees need a trade when they have a viable solution already on their team.  That solution is Joba Chamberlain.

   Joba Chamberlain, the starter, has good stuff, but he only works 5 innings.  After 5 innings it's a crap shoot when the bullpen doors open.  Joba Chamberlain, the reliever, has proved that he can be unhittable.  As a starter, Joba has been "neutered" by the Yankees front office.  He no longer throws gas, he no longer challenges hitters, and sometimes walks the entire ball park.  Why would you waste a talent such as his on the starting rotation?  The Yankees have plenty of depth in their rotation, but what they don't have is depth in the bullpen.  Mariano is one season away from retirement; where do you turn when rumor becomes reality?  The free agent market?  Another foolish trade?  Why waste the money and the prospects, when Joba can do the job.

   The Yankees mantra is to win the world series every year.  Running out relief pitchers such as Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez, and Phil Coke is not going to achieve that goal.  The Yankees have a better shot at winning it all with this formula: the starter goes 6 or 7, Joba comes in and pitches the 7th or 8th, and Mariano comes in to close it out.  This is how the 96' Yankees were so successful.  Pitching wins titles, and great pitching forms dynasties.  Brian Cashman needs to get with the program and put Joba Chamberlain back in the bullpen.  It's time to end the 9 year drought, and bring the Yankees back to the top of Major League Baseball.  It's time to put the Boston Red Sox back where they belong; that's at the bottom looking up.